Changes in WAR

One of the great things about the holiday season, aside from the hustle and bustle of activities (typically involving malls and a lot of credit cards, and food) is that there’s a pretty great selection of festive activities to enjoy in game. Not only that, but a lot of games are offering a welcome back promotion of some sort. WoW offered me 10 free days, EQ2 has activated old accounts until the 31st of December, LotRO has a welcome back weekend currently running, and WAR also offered me 10 days to return to the game and check out the changes. WAR was one of those games that I enjoyed playing, but not enough to want to pay monthly for it. I love pvp and I enjoyed the thrill of battle, but there wasn’t enough ‘other stuff’ to keep me playing. I don’t enjoy pvp ALL of the time (I don’t enjoy any one thing ALL of the time, which is probably why I play so many games).

That being said, it’s a beautiful game, and I never disliked it. It just didn’t have enough ‘umph’ to keep me playing. I’m not above taking advantage of promotions to see changes, and of course I dragged a friend with me because everything is better when you’re playing with someone else.

It didn’t take any time at all to patch, and when I logged in the first thing I was greeted with (once I’d created a character) was a “changes since last time you have logged in” screen – which is a VERY SMART IDEA. I wish other games took note of this and implemented the same sort of feature. Some key notes based on the last time you’ve logged in that will show on the screen and remind you of all of the wonderful new features that you should be taking advantage of. Fantastic attention to detail, and I (as a player) like that.

One of the changes since I played last, is there’s a new tutorial area. In fact I was so out of the loop I didn’t have any idea there was this area, and figured that myself and my friend would have to create the same race in order to start together. Turns out, that’s not the case any more. The starter area was bustling with players, probably because of the new ‘unlimited’ trial that allows you to play Tier 1 for as long as you’d like. I play Order on Badlands, and Destruction on Gorfang. The highest character I have is level 12. I love playing healers, and my archmage, but there’s no way I would be able to just jump right back into the game knowing where I left off (it’s been months) so I created a ranged melee type character. Like every tutorial, the starter area introduces you to the game and puts you into WAR head first. Before level five you’ve already experienced your first public quest and are gaining reputation. I always enjoyed the fact that there were multiple methods of ‘leveling’ in WAR, through public quests, battlegrounds, and PvE (even if the pve was lacking at times).

It was starting to get late so I didn’t get very far, I think I logged off at level four or so, but it was fun. It was a little confusing and overwhelming trying to understand and remember all of the commands and what everything did, but that’s true for every game, and the fact that I play so many just compounds this because I have to remember commands and keys for not just a few games, but closer to 15 different games at any one time. Typically I go through and bind everything I can so it all matches one game, or I spend hours trying to figure out the basics (like hiding my UI so I can take a screen shot, or auto attacking).

I’m looking forward to continuing my adventures through WAR. Will I subscribe after my 10 days are up? Well. I haven’t decided yet. There’s a good chance I just might. It depends on my schedule though and whether or not I think I can justify the cost with work gaming + play gaming. In the mean time, I’m just going to enjoy.

Simply Not Enough Time

Ellithia is sporting the Shard of Love headgear that dropped for us earlier this week – and that’s been the extent of my time in EQ2, which hasn’t happened in literally, months. I haven’t logged in. It’s not that I don’t have things to do in game, because I certainly do but I just don’t have enough time lately to do everything I want to do. Isn’t that always the case?

EQ2 is always my home base, and I’ll always return there. Especially after I glanced through this HUGE list of patch notes that are currently on test. Wow. Some pretty amazing stuff is finally getting fixed. This has been a very long time coming. Earlier this week I also transferred my 80 swashbuckler over to Antonia Bayle, so I can get back into boxing. I had closed my second account for a little while but decided that 12 alts was simply not enough, so I’ve got both accounts once more.

Vanguard is my home away from home. It’s the game I play for pleasure with a few friends when we all happen to have time, and I really love the game. The problem is it’s not one of those duck in real quick for a minute or two games, so it looks like it gets a lot of back burner time.

Aion is what I’m playing a lot of lately, mostly for work. I play during the day, when it’s quieter then normal and I can’t say I’m hating it. Leveling is slow, quests are grindy but it’s beautiful and still new, and I’ll be sticking with it.

Torchlight and Dragon Age are still on my play list as well, but I’ll probably be playing those more on the weekend when I’m not busy with other things. The weather is getting much colder and it’s almost time to hibernate for the winter. No doubt my adventures there will be fun as always.

NaNoWriMo is eating up a lot of time. I’m just over 12k words right now (although I completely slacked yesterday and didn’t do any writing – today I should be making up for it) and I’m excited about my story. It’s something that I’ve been meaning to write for a very long time, but simply never got around to. Now that the motivation is there I just need to stick with it for the month of November. I’ve also been very excited watching all my friends work on their stories, and the inspiration and motivation that bounces off of one another is fantastic.

There are five games that are on my “dang I wish I had more time” list currently. These are the Lord of the Rings Online, Fallen Earth, Wizard 101, EverQuest and Dungeons and Dragons Online. Thankfully DDO is free to play, so I don’t exactly feel like I’m missing out by NOT playing right now. The Lord of the Rings Online recently extended their special Mirkwood promotions until mid November, so I’ve been debating whether or not I want to get in on that and plurge on a life time just because. It’s one of those games I’ve really enjoyed playing but just can’t seem to find the time. Fallen Earth I managed to score a 15 day trial for, and never logged in – sighs. Wizard 101 is something I should be playing a lot more of next week, fingers crossed. EverQuest currently has their closed beta ongoing for Underfoot – and if I could convince a few of my friends to play with me, I’d probably be there a lot more. I really love EverQuest, always have, even 10 years later. It’s just not fun for me to play alone.

After the list of “I wish I had more time” games, there are a few games that I wish I could simply afford to take a peek into every so often, even if I don’t have the time. These include Warhammer (I loved the game, but lacked friends to play with), Free Realms, and Champions Online (which I played a few times but honestly never got into it, I was right about it simply not being the genre for me). Of course there’s those games I’ve tried but never stuck with (and I’ve tried them multiple times), EVE and World of Warcraft. I even bought the latest EVE game and never actually installed it (it went on sale for $5 if I recall) because I just don’t have the time right now to learn another game. I’ve played WoW off and on since release, and I just think it would have been neat to make it to the level cap at least once. My highest level is 50.

Don’t get me started on all the free to play games out there that tickle my fancy.

There really is just not enough time for everything.

BaKawk! Questing as a Chicken

It’s been a few months since I’ve played Warhammer, I gave it a try when it released and I enjoyed the game (much as I enjoy most games) but as time went on and my friends moved on I decided I could no longer devote $15/m worth of time to it, and crossed it off of my list of active games. I entered a contest at Bio Break last week and was pleased to find out yesterday that I’d won a few goodies for the game, and just as my contest entry said I decided to activate it (even if only for a short while).

I have a small selection of destructi0n on Gorfang and one Arch Mage on Badlands (I think?). I had to reinstall the game to my new drive, and spent a few hours patching but it was no worse then any other game. I have kept up with the updates on a very small scale, so any chances were still pretty much new to me. When I reactivated the account I qualified for 10 free days, so I’m playing through those first.

I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to start over or try to pick up with one of my current characters. I’d only made it to level 11 on the zealot – I hate starting from scratch (especially since I had numerous low level characters and have played through those areas before many times). I logged in, found myself in the Inevitable City, found some new recruit quests which I promptly picked up and headed to Nordland (I believe). Surprisingly enough there was some major oRvR going on – which destruction was losing badly. We were out numbered and out maneuvered but it was still neat to mouse over the map and see 4-5 pockets of 10-25 people in battles.

I completed a few recruit quests, killed a few players – and along the way I dinged 12 which apparently crossed me into the “ack you’re too big to be here” line and I promptly turned into a chicken.

I remembered (though I’d never actually been one before) that turning into a chicken happens when you’re too high level for the pvp in the area – but I actually had no choice, my quests all required me to be in pvp areas exploring and checking on scouts. I was a little peeved that the quests required me to go to areas that I was too big for, but I decided I would just keep an eye out for mob encounters as well as pvp encounters, and try to finish the new recruit quests before moving on to a harder area.

Chickens don’t have much health, and they can’t use any of their spells. Since most of my quests were about scouting an area, I managed to complete them. I slowly remembered commands and how to play – even though I haven’t done a lot of actual casting yet, since I was a chicken the entire time.

Once my quests were completed I deleted a few other lower level ones and decided to head to Ostland, which I believe is the next quest area for my level. I picked up a few new zealot spells and made the long walk (as a chicken). I’m sure the people on the road who were walking with me were amused by my random clucking.

Will I stick with the game for any length of time? I haven’t decided but knowing my history I won’t. I’m still having a blast in EQ2 and passing time away until GU53 when achievements come out and auto mentoring. At least this gives me something to do in the mean time.

A Little WAR

I spent most of the weekend away from my main PC and there for couldn’t play LoTRO with Tipa and a few other Nostalgians, but I wanted to. I was there in spirit! So instead I decided to dip into WAR for a brief bit. My account is active for the month as I was letting a friend test the game out (they ended up purchasing their own copy and have been playing it steadily since). When I logged in I was not surprised to be greated by the ‘low population server’ message that told me I would be able to move servers if I wanted. I moved my Order character over to the server CoW moved to, and I moved two of my Destruction characters over to a server whose name I forget but I have a few friends who play there. 

The highest level I’d ever gotten in WAR was 10, on multiple characters at that. Now I’m sitting at 11 almost (but not quite) 12. The game is much the way I remembered it, the public quests are bare at my lower tiers, the scenario were not too bad though. There was some intense RvR action going on and I was a little surprised that the public channels (which were implimented after I cancelled my account) were still fairly quiet. It’s really hard to do RvR battles and talk at the same time. You’re so focused on trying to stay alive or in my case trying to keep other people alive. 

I got my first taste of T2 scenarios. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember the name of it and I don’t even know what the objective was. It was a huge mesh of bodies flying and bombs exploding and it was great. I loved every minute of it. I don’t even remember if we won or lost, it was just that good. The problem with loving those sorts of things is that I know darn well after a few hours of it (or even a second and third time) the euphoria I felt will wear off and I’ll want to get back to playing ‘my’ way which involves crafting and player housing. How utterly lame, I know. 

It was still nice to dip in and play. I don’t know why everyone thinks that I don’t enjoy PvP, I actually do enjoy it quite a bit. I haven’t found ‘the game’ for me though in regards to that – I like to PvP when I feel the urge, but I also like to PvE and experience games for their other facets. Does that even make sense? 

I hope everyone else had an amazing weekend, no matter where you found yourself.

Since Mythic seems to be so good about fixing things….

I was reading Ogrebears site today (thank you google reader!) and came across this post which really didn’t surprise me, and it’s not the only post like this. One key aspect to ALL mmo’s is community. Some of us find that easier then others. Lets say you’re not a member of CoW (there are a few out there, right?) and you pick up WAR and start randomly playing. How interested are you going to be playing a game where no one talks. This means you can’t ask advice for your class. You can’t easily see guild recruitment messages, you can’t ask someone ‘hey have you seen so and so? I have no idea where I’m going here..’ — you COULD ask these things in says, tells, or in a group, or on the scenario channel, but not out wandering around. 

No one talks. Even in the scenarios I’ve been doing, I rarely see any messages at all except maybe ‘hold this place! Work some defense!’ or other brief messages along those lines. There’s just no public channels for people.

Since plenty of other sites talk about how Mythic is ‘on the ball’ about fixing any and all issues that come along (ie: experience boosts for PvE, for low population servers, bug fixes etc) how long will it be before they notice their game has no welcoming community for the new player. This WILL be a turn off for people. 

Put yourself in the place of someone completely new. It’s a lot different when you start the game in a prearranged guild, or are playing with friends. Not everyone plays the same and some times it takes a bit to get warmed up. The game is so dang lonely at times, you’re left wondering if you’re playing a different version of the game then everyone else and these characters running around are not characters at all but some form of elaborate bot. 

I’m a huge advocate of community being key to any mmo. How much better would it be if folks could put out a “hey I need some help at this PQ” or “Hey we’re getting our asses handed to us in keeping this keep, can we get some help” and actually being able to bond with people outside of their own guild. How are you even supposed to know what sort of player a person is unless you stumble into a group with them and give them more then a second glance as you’re doing a scenario or taking a keep?

Worried about the amount of spam? Well there’s already LOTS of spam out there already and we’ve all found ways to deal with it. Seeing general chatter spam is a lot better then seeing nothing at all.